Rabies Alert Issued for North Marion County

July 22, 2013 in Ocala News, Top News

Raccoon Is Given Rabbies Vaccination

A health worker administers rabies vaccine by injection to a trapped raccoon as a follow-up to an oral rabies vaccine pilot program launched in Fairfax County, Va. Source: Fairfax County Health Department.

OCALA, Fla. — A rabies alert has been issued for the area just north of Ocala in Marion County. According to the Florida Department of Health, the alert is in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies July 17. All Marion County residents should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system. It is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

This alert, No. 0002/13, is in effect for 60 days. MarionCounty residents should not presume security from rabies if their area has not been named specifically in the alert. The center of the rabies alert is just north of the Ocala city limits and extends with the following area boundaries: Highway 326 to the north, Northeast 35th St. to the south, Northeast 25th Ave. to the east, and West Anthony Rd. to the west.

Domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. An animal with rabies can infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies. All wildlife contact should be avoided. Contact with raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes especially should be avoided.

Residents should keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Marion County Animal Services at (352) 671-8727.

For more information on rabies call the Florida Department of Health in Marion County at (352) 622-7744.